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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | HEARD ON THE BEAT / RETAIL

Oakley Takes Creative Role in Ads

May 09, 2000|LESLIE EARNEST | Leslie Earnest covers retail businesses for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-7832 and at leslie .earnest@latimes.com

Nine months after Oakley Inc. hired its first outside advertising agency, the sunglass maker and VitroRobertson have had a partial parting of ways.

Oakley announced last week that it was resuming control over creative aspects of its advertising campaign due to "operating efficiencies and the in-house capabilities of its graphics department." But VitroRobertson said it suggested the change after discovering that the two companies' "creative working styles were just really too different."

Alan Bonine, managing director of the San Diego agency, declined to spell out the creative differences but said they generally involved the way Oakley wants its brand portrayed and the "tone of voice" of its ad wording.

"It wasn't a contentious issue at all," Bonine said. "It's more of a philosophical issue."

The ad agency agreed to continue handling media planning for Oakley, including duties such as selecting which magazines Oakley should use to advertise its eye wear, shoes and apparel, he said.

Oakley says the shift will have no impact on the execution of its stepped-up advertising campaign. The company also said it may expand VitroRobertson's role in media planning for Oakley's key international markets.

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